Friday, December 2, 2016

Regular Life.

It's been a while, huh?

I'm not entirely sure why I haven't written for a couple weeks. Life has been pretty ordinary, and my feelings are ever changing. One hour I am grateful and feeling undeservedly blessed to be living this life, then the next hour I am miserable, exhausted, complaining, and angry. Call it hormones, call it sin-nature, call it the insanity that stems from being with your kids 24/7, call it whatever you think it is, it's super annoying and becoming an old, frustrating story. 

I was going to say I never feel totally unable to cope, but that's not entirely true. I have my moments, maybe minutes, or even close to an hour every once in a while, but the demands of homeschooling and mothering a toddler force me to wake up & get stuff done, even if that stuff is wiping a bottom or helping another kid with some school-related task. I long to never feel overwhelmed, to never feel exhausted beyond repair, or to never feel crazily angry over the needs rising from those around me, kids or not. However, that longing has not been fulfilled, and I am not sure it ever will.

I have other times where I feel shamelessly awesome. I see my ambition, my creative ideas, my desire to run a successful business, my kids doing well with their learning, and I cannot help but feel pretty stinking incredible. But I know it's not because of me. It's not because of my efforts, or any innate goodness or brilliance I have. All of these good gifts are from the Father of Lights. Still, I don't know how to balance the easy and the difficult, how to endure the down periods without despair and to enjoy the wonderful times without attributing them to my own efforts. 

This struggle between these two extremes gives me constant conversation in my brain, incessantly picking apart everything I'm doing, weighing all the choices I'm making, and almost forcing me to consider each and every tiny step of my day with far too much weight of importance. Some of the thoughts that continue to linger are ...

- my readers will resent me for being ambitious. 
- my friends will fear being real with me, or asking me for help. 
- no one will support my endeavors. 
- my downfalls will look too silly for anyone to want to help me. 
- my desire for success will cause me to pursue something I shouldn't.
- my weaknesses are too awful and I will never overcome them.
- my ambition for excellence will appear as pride.
- maybe people really just don't like me at all.

Maybe these seem silly to you. Maybe you don't know me well enough to see me as someone with these kinds of insecurities. Maybe you think I'm a wimp for being unable to cope with many of these simple fears. Or maybe you can relate. Silly or not, fears take hold and guide our decisions unless we direct them to where they belong. God can defeat our fears and He wants to. All of my fears are about things that might happen, or thoughts unknown to me. Fear exists in the unknown, but God knows all. I'm seeing more clearly that overcoming my fear is rooted in trusting God with every single, tiny little thing.

As I read a devotion with the kids this morning, I read part of Psalm 139 and was reminded again how much God loves me and watches over me. 

"Oh LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
And are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, 
Behold, Oh LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, before and behind, 
And lay your hand upon me."

The Psalm goes on to talk about God knowing our motives, our life, our complete existence, and how little we understand of it all. This Psalm was written with David, having his own motives, earnestly telling God what he desires but ending with the same intention Jesus had: not my will, but yours. 

In all the wishy-washy ways I am wandering through my life, I hope to always end there, as David did, as Jesus did, and many other saints along the way. I want God's desires to be my desires. I want my desires to be earnest, truthful, coming from a pure heart. I know it's not fun to see my yucky motives and my bad coping mechanisms, but I want a renewed life, a free spirit, and a bold willingness to endure whatever God sees fit. Most of all, I want to do this with a joyful faith. I want to trust God enough to love it, even when I kind of hate it. 

I don't know how to attain this, and actually, I don't think it's possible without God's divine intervention. But the more I meditate on it, the more I focus on God's ability, presence, and absurd love for me, the more I see how it can happen. Then the chaos of kids, changing friendships, and an uncertain future is less scary. I'm more excited to see the next day, and less sad that it might be filled with more of the normal, average, stay-at-home drama. 

I know this doesn't give you a ton of practical use, but hopefully it will still help you strive toward being with God more often and more deeply. I'm not actually amazing, nor I am I complete mess. I am what God is making me, and I am hopeful that it will be better a year from now. And what really brings me courage and joy is knowing 100% that someday, I too will actually be perfect! Sure, it'll be the day I die, but it is also the day I will live perfect in peace, light, and love forever. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes! So encouraged by this. Thanks, Joellen, for your honestly and love. :)